Authorities cited by ABC15 said that at around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, an unidentified suspect shot 71-year-old Harold Treadwell III in the torso. Police said the bullet that struck the Lyft driver was fired from outside the car.
After being fatally wounded, Treadwell continued to drive before crossing the median and crashing his car.
“We don’t know much more than he suffered a gunshot wound and died,” said Phoenix Police Sgt. Maggie Cox, according to ABC15. “We are really depending on anybody that we have not already talked to call us.”
Detectives said they did not believe Treadwell was targeted, but they did not go so far as to say the shooting was random.
Treadwell is survived by a son and wife.
“It is with much heartache and sadness that I am sharing this horrible news with you,” the tragically deceased Lyft driver’s wife Frances Treadwell wrote on a GoFundMe campaign page. “My husband Harry (or Tready as some of you remember him by) passed away this morning. Tready was working for Lyft as one of their drivers last night and around 12:30 a.m., he was shot, killed, and veered off the road.”
“I feel like I am living a horrible, horrible nightmare and that any moment I will wake up!”
“Today is our 52nd Wedding Anniversary and we spoke right before he was killed and wished each other a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY (thank you God for allowing me to have that last conversation with him so I could tell him that I loved him!)”
“I pray that he did NOT suffer with any pain. I know that he is with God and his parents now in heaven. He was such a good, kind, giving, and loving man!”
“I won’t lie—it is going to be extremely tough to live on without him! He was my best friend, soulmate, and lover! May you rest in peace my sweet hubby and cowboy (that is my nickname for him!) I miss you so much already!”
She added that she was with her son when a detective showed up at her home to break the terrible news, adding, “We are leaning on each other as we try to accept this horrible event.”
Karen Bair, who organized the GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Frances Treadwell, said the deceased man’s wife will be financially distressed following his death and will have to find a new place to live.
“I know we can all help her make this horrible journey a bit easier by not having to worry about money,” Bair said.
Treadwell wrote her husband would be cremated.
No plans for a memorial service have been announced.
ABC15 posted the story on its Facebook page, where it sparked emotional reactions.
“This is terrible, prayers for the family, and praying they find the shooter!”
Another commenter wrote: “Lost a good friend years ago who was driving a taxi in Wichita, Ks. The guy stole less than ten dollars from and shot her point blank.”
Someone replied: “So sorry, but in this tragedy the bullet came from outside the car not from any passengers. It can happen to anybody out driving.”
Facts About Crime in the United States
Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).
The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.
The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend.
Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.